What a waste. Why is Rooney Mara in this movie? Why does Dev Patel sport a permanently constipated expression? Why is most of the second half of the film wasted on a grown-up Saroo digging through the internet instead of delving into the deeper emotions of his identity? How could they take such a beautiful true story and make into THIS?
The first half bears too many parallels with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’; the portrayal of an India with child labor, dirty gullies and thatched huts, bathing in muddy rivers, crowded train stations with people too busy to bother with a crying child, human trafficking. This clichéd portion ought to have been supported with a fresh perspective of foreign adoptive parents and their efforts to raise two Indian boys. There is too much of flitting on the surface of the hard, ambiguous stuff.
The only saving grace of this film is Sunny Pawar, the boy playing younger Saroo. He is incredible and sweet with a strength within him that shines so bravely. Everyone else missed the mark. I would recommend just watching the first half featuring Sunny and chuck the rest of it. Still unable to fathom the hype over ‘Lion’; a moving true story is not enough, it needs execution.